Removal Proceedings & Deportation
One of the limitations on people who are not US citizens is that they are subject to forced removal from the United States if they violate immigration regulations or criminal laws. This is done in a legal proceeding known as Removal Proceedings (formerly known as deportation). When the Department of Homeland Security grants a foreign national the right to enter or remain the United States, that right is subject to compliance with certain conditions. Among the conditions under which green cards or visas are issued are: change of address notification, employment restrictions, limited duration of authorized stay, and compliance with criminal laws. A foreign national who fails to comply with the conditions of his or her visa or green card is said to have failed to maintain status. Failure to maintain status can lead to denial of visa extensions, denial of change of status, and/or removal (deportation) proceedings. In some situations, a person who has failed to maintain status can apply for discretionary reinstatement of status prior to the initiation of removal proceedings. A person is considered to be unlawfully present if they entered the US without inspection or failed to maintain their status. An alien who is unlawfully present in the United States risks lengthy bars on admissibility and may want to consider voluntary departure prior to the initiation of removal proceedings. If removal proceedings are initiated, a foreign national who desires to remain in the United States must seek some form of relief provided by the Immigration and Nationality Act. The available relief from removal proceedings includes termination or cancellation of proceedings and adjustment of status. Contact me for assistance in determining the best immigration strategy for your situation.